The IT Perspective
IT leaders in the Utilities or Telecoms sectors understand the challenges of ensuring customers come first whilst maintaining the complex array of IT Systems supporting them. With many systems needing to generate their own customer related documentation, but having to be consistent with each other and the corporate brand, the challenge is to support, maintain and develop these systems in a timely manner within very tight IT budgets.
Common requirements of Customer Communications are often addressed with piecemeal solutions based on readily available components. However, these are often resource consuming to maintain, with simple demands for template changes requiring careful scheduling and specific - and often scarce - IT expertise.
An even greater maintenance problem emerges when organisations wish to embrace and integrate new channels for correspondence: the shift from pure print to interactive, on-demand servicing with delivery via email, SMS, smartphone, etc. introduces a whole new set of IT challenges and an even greater maintenance workload.
CIO’s seek a solution that offers:
- A foundation for consistent, extensible, multi-channel architecture for communications
- Better ‘Value For Money’ through reduced complexity
- Fewer legacy skill sets needed for electronic communications giving staff flexibility
- Very large print runs now fit into batch windows without disrupting other operations
- No IT resource dependency for user letter construction, but ensures that re-use is optimised
- A de-risked approach to systems and process rationalisation is provided
- Strategic alignment with Business and IT objectives
- A 360⁰ view of the client portfolio and full audit-ability of both original data and new views
- Safe “self-service” for customer account management and other applications.
With icon, you can attain these goals and move into the top-quartile benchmark for customer and prospect communications.
Being able to communicate to customers in an effective and relevant way whilst remaining within the IT budget is an ongoing but key challenge:
- The historic introduction of new products, systems and merger impacts means there is often a complex array of core systems. These can range from the latest web based systems to those over 20 years old. All have their own document generation tools. Since these are often independent of each other, there is often a difficult content integration challenge besides the costs of multiple maintenance and support arrangements.
- Many companies in the Utilities sector have core legacy systems that can produce accurate documentation but only in older styles. Presenting a dated look-and-feel does little to enhance reputation or engender new business. Organisations need to present consistent branding and appearance for paper and electronic communications.
- In Telecoms, the rapid growth path of many through acquisitive means has left a patchwork of systems and processes which present problems in terms of content integration and precision execution of marketing strategy, both directly and through channels. High complexity and systems duplication make it is all too easy to introduce mistakes into the output processing, or overlook critical system performance issues when implementing changes.
Other issues include:
- Struggling with multi-channel - need for a consistent architecture for content interchange
- Centralised bulk print takes too long (crashing, or over-running the overnight batch window)
- Generating 3600 view of Customer information in real time is beyond current capabilities
- Retention of too many different IT skills and attrition of frustrated communications/print staff
- High-levels of IT input needed just to create a new letter, for example
- Previous attempts at document systems integration and Case-based Workflows have failed.
Against the backdrop of these challenges, IT leaders in this sector need to an enterprise tool that will tackle these issues whilst under the watchful eye of regulators such as the OFCOM, OFGEM and OFWAT. This means that without such tool, not only is their reputation and customer confidence at risk, but they may be subject to fines and even a loss of operating licences if these issues are not dealt with promptly and satisfactorily.
How Icon Helps
Icon Suite offers Utilities and Telecoms organisations the opportunity to address all these challenges in one solution platform. Practically every type of document can be flexibly constructed from pre-approved templates, incorporating powerful re-use and multi-lingual features. Structured, Interactive and On-demand output types can be produced and include Proposals and Quotations, Order confirmations, Policies, Statements, Customer Self-Service, Correspondence and Agent Communications, etc. (see ‘Uses’ on Telecoms & Utilities Overview).
Different modes of customer engagement are supported across all media types. Through deploying this platform, with transformational change and operational services where required, we help organisations change the way they engage with customers. Customers benefit from highly personalised, flexible and positive experiences they are pleased to recommend to others. Icon provides many forms of industrial strength enterprise document solutions.
Icon solutions offer:
- Consistent architecture and view of data lends itself to multi-channel communications
- A powerful document engine capable at generating over 1 million documents per hour
- Tight, centralised management of the print function and enterprise component re-use
- Easy integration with existing systems allowing their gradual rationalisation
- Reduced training and IT staff retention costs
- Real-time information integration and management capabilities
- Strong ROI and Payback cases
Icon UK can assist in the all areas related to improving customer communications including:
Improved Sales and Customer Service
- More personalised automated & interactive communications
- Speed and accuracy of communication
- Instant access to current and archive customer information
- Improve cross-selling and up-selling
Cost Savings and rationalisation
- Simplify & consolidate IT systems and output streams
- Reduce paper, print and postage costs
- Retire legacy systems and platforms
- Increase staff productivity
Increased content efficiency
- Radical consolidation of templates
- Improve workflow and case management
- Greater re-use of content
- Reduce document development time and skills
Reduced compliance risk and governance efforts
- Enforce document & regulatory standards
- Compliant audit and rapid search capabilities
- Improve control of document storage and access
- Enable multi-level workflow approvals
Companies that engage Icon find they can understand what customer communications are really costing and translate this into a compelling Return on Investment case. By investing in the right solutions they can improve content and policy control, increased customer loyalty and achieve top-quartile performance in customer communications management. In doing so they develop a robust platform for meeting both strategic objectives [such as rapidly re-branding following restructuring] and tactical delivery [such as large scale personalised messaging on a multi-lingual, multi-country, multi-channel mass communication basis delivered cost-effectively].
Some of the world’s largest and leading service organisations use our technology solutions. Call us to find out how we can help your organisation.
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